The Cleverest Third Grade Classroom Management Tools and Ideas (2024)

By third grade, classroom routine and behavior expectations have become very familiar for students. They might be encountering new concepts like switching classes (departmentalizing) for the first time, and they’re definitely becoming more independent in their work. They still need a lot of guidance in some areas, though, like social-emotional learning. Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks for your third grade classroom management playbook.

1. Set expectations, not rules.

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These kids have been in a classroom setting for years, so they know how it works. They don’t need rules—they just need to be reminded of what you expect from them. Talk about these in your first week of class, and discuss examples of what each one looks like (or doesn’t look like!). Then, refer them back to those expectations throughout the year when they’re struggling with good behavior.

Learn more: Miss V in 3

2. Encourage a growth mindset.

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Social emotional learning is an important component of third grade classroom management. Help kids develop a positive way of approaching tasks, and teach them to be gentler with themselves when they make mistakes.

Learn more: Third Grade Thoughts

3. Create a morning cart and routine.

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Get your mornings off to a strong start by establishing routines, even before the bell rings. A morning cart is a good way to organize all those housekeeping tasks like collecting homework and taking lunch counts. Once kids have put away their things and settled in, set bell ringer tasks they can work on while others are still arriving and you’re finishing up your morning minutiae. Once everyone is ready to go, hold your morning meeting to set expectations for the day.


Learn more: Glitter in Third

4. Assign class jobs with detailed cards.

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Class jobs can feel overwhelming, but avoid the temptation to skip them. They’re not so much about getting things done around the classroom as giving students a sense of ownership and responsibility. Some teachers use a “classroom economy” system where kids earn “money” for their jobs, which they can then spend on prizes or rewards like a homework pass. There’s no need for a complicated system, though; just make sure your third grade classroom management strategy includes ways for kids to participate in making your school a clean and comfortable place to learn.

Learn more: Core Inspiration

5. Try a group points system for behavior management.

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Every teacher has their own behavior management system, and there are tons of great ideas to try. One that works well with older primary kids is a group system. This encourages them to work as a team and hold each other accountable. Try group seating with a points system to reward good behavior. Don’t forget to change up your groups every so often (quarterly or monthly both work well).

Learn more: Proud to Be Primary

6. Curb the blurting.

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Nothing derails a class faster than kids who can’t stop blurting out. Classroom participation is good, but for those who just can’t remember to raise their hand or wait their turn, try the blurt box. Kids get a red ticket each time they interrupt. They write their name and the date on the ticket, and drop it in the box. This allows you to track repeat offenders. You can send these tickets home to let parents know their student needs to work on this skill.

Learn more: All About 3rd Grade

7. Encourage collaboration and participation.

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Part of third grade classroom management is making sure everyone participates as equally as possible. That’s where the Two Cents Cup comes in. Each kid starts an activity with two pennies. When they offer an answer or participate in the discussion, they drop in a penny. When they’re out of pennies, they have to sit quietly until others have used up their pennies too. It’s a fun way to draw some kids out and teach others to listen a bit more.

Learn more: Think Grow Giggle

8. Manage behavior with student data notebooks.

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By third grade, kids know what good classroom behavior looks like. Give them more ownership with data notebooks. These build self-evaluation skills and teach students to recognize their own challenges and successes. They take a bit of time, but once you (and they) learn how to use them, data notebooks may just become one of your favorite classroom tools.

Learn more: Adrienne Teaches

9. Pass out reward tags.

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Rewarding individual success is so important in any classroom. Reward tags are a super-inexpensive way to appeal to kids’ love of collecting—they’ll want to get them all! The concept is very simple, and you can find lots of reward tag packs available on places like Teachers Pay Teachers if you don’t want to create your own. Give kids a chain to hang them on, and watch their behavior improve as they try to earn each and every one.

Learn more: Lucky Little Learners

10. Create a While You Were Out folder.

The Cleverest Third Grade Classroom Management Tools and Ideas (10)

It’s surprising just how much kids can miss when they’re absent for even one day. Make up a few “While You Were Out” folders that you can use to collect worksheets and other handouts for their return. Bonus tip: Make one side a wet-erase page (just apply some clear contact paper) and write in any special instructions they need to know.

Learn more: The Teacher Bowtique/Instagram

11. Prepare for fast finishers.

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Some kids are just always done before others. That’s why you need to keep a selection of activities on hand for fast finishers. Make sure they’ve completed any learning activities that might be leftover from other days first, then let them choose something from your “I’m Done” choice board. These options are usually fun, but with a meaningful learning component too.

Learn more: A Cupcake for the Teacher/Instagram

12. Teach them clever call-backs.

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Chances are good your third graders already know a bunch of good attention-getter call-and-responses, but they’ll always be up for some new ones. Use these when you need to bring their focus back to you after independent or group work.

Learn more: Proud to Be Primary

13. Invest in a classroom doorbell.

If you buy just one thing for your classroom this year, make it a doorbell. You’re going to love having one of these as part your third grade classroom management toolkit. Use them to get students’ attention (without yelling!) to signify time is up on group work, to transition from one activity to another, and so much more. Learn more about using classroom doorbells here.

14. Give kids a safe space.

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Even little kids are full of big feelings. Managing those feelings in a classroom full of your peers can be a real challenge. That’s where a Safe Space or Calm Down Corner comes in. Set aside a place where kids can go to cool off. Stock it with fidget toys, calming books, a stuffed animal or two, and helpful ideas for getting their emotions back under control. You can send kids here as needed, or they can take a few minutes here on their own if they ask you first.

Learn more: Teaching With Jillian Starr

15. Send home fix-it tickets.

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Even with the very best third grade classroom management strategies, some kids are going to have bad days. When they do, try the Fix It Ticket system. Send one home with a student (you can follow-up with an email or phone call if necessary to explain the problem). Ask them to talk things over and return the ticket the next day with a plan for how to make things better.

Learn more: Life Between Summers

16. Carry everything you need to know.

The Cleverest Third Grade Classroom Management Tools and Ideas (16)

We love the idea of these little laminated cards attached to your key lanyard. Keep anything you might need with you at all times, and make a bonus set you can leave for a substitute!

Learn more: Primary Graffiti/Instagram

For more third grade classroom management suggestions, check out these 50 Tips, Tricks, and Ideas for Teaching Third Grade.

Plus, the Ultimate Checklist for Setting Up Your Third Grade Classroom.

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The Cleverest Third Grade Classroom Management Tools and Ideas (2024)


What is your classroom management style interview answer? ›

Example: "I'd describe my classroom management style as being authoritative, but not authoritarian. I like to bring everything I have to my teaching, which means I emphasize rules and proper behavior, but I also focus on engagement and student enjoyment.

What are the 3 C's of classroom management? ›

Classroom management can be challenging, even for experienced teachers. But fear not, because today we'll dive into the three C's of classroom management – connection, consistency, and compassion- and how you can use them to transform your classroom into a positive and productive learning environment.

Which 3 classroom management skills are most important? ›

The Best Classroom Management Strategies Today

The five components of effective classroom management include developing behavioral standards, establishing working relationships with students, valuing your time as a teacher, familiarizing students with teaching methods, and anticipating student behavior.

What is your management style best answer? ›

“I try to employ a very democratic and collaborative management style. I think it's so important that everyone feels heard and supported. I want all the members of my team to feel like we all work together, not that they all work for me or that they're all individuals who happen to share a manager.

How do you answer what management style suits you best? ›

How to answer, "What management style do you prefer?"
  • Be honest about your preferences. ...
  • Name a few management styles to convey flexibility. ...
  • Provide examples of previous managers you admired. ...
  • Provide an example that highlights your ability to overcome communication barriers with managers.
Mar 10, 2023

What are the 5 P's of classroom management? ›

Try the 5 Ps: positive, polite, prepared, productive, and prompt.

What are the 4 basic elements of successful classroom management plans? ›

According to researchers, classroom management is a core strategy for effective teaching, four components of classroom management were identified and analyzed, which included: rules and regulations, disciplinary interventions, teacher-student interactions, and mental sets.

What are the big 5 principles of classroom management? ›

Sign up for The Research Is In, and we'll send you the key takeaways once a month.
  • Take Care of Yourself to Take Care of Your Students. ...
  • Focus on Building Relationships. ...
  • Set Rules, Boundaries, and Expectations (and Do It Early) ...
  • Take a Strength-Based Approach. ...
  • Involve Parents and Guardians.
Nov 14, 2017

What is the most effective classroom management? ›

Good classroom managers like and respect kids, and they show it. They smile. They act like they're happy to be there. They expect kids to make mistakes (and understand when they do), and they appreciate when kids work hard (and tell them so).

What is the best classroom management style? ›

The authoritative approach is the best form of classroom management style because it is the one most closely associated with appropriate student behaviors.

How do you deal with misbehaving students? ›

Stay calm and listen to student concerns – identifying the catalyst for disruption can help you address the situation in the moment or in a later meeting.
  1. Be steady, consistent and firm.
  2. Acknowledge the feelings of the individual.
  3. Remember that disruptive behavior is often caused by stress or frustration.

What are the 4 C's of classroom management? ›

Teaching through the lens of the "Four Cs"—critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity—will help us and our students stay essential in an evolving world of work.

What are the 7 approaches to classroom management? ›

This diversity in learning styles calls for a variety of approaches to classroom management. This study is anchored with the seven primary classroom management approaches: Assertive, Business-Academic, Behavioral-Modification, Group Managerial, Group Guidance, Acceptance, and Success.

What are the 6 principles of classroom management? ›

Your ability to connect with the students and demonstrating qualities like kindness, warmth, support, clarity, proactive approach, and consistency can go a long way in making the classroom heaven for learning where students exhibit ideal behavior full of politeness and obedience.

What are the top 3 management styles? ›

There are three broad categories of management styles: Autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire.

What are the 5 best management styles? ›

There are many management styles, but five stand out above the rest: autocratic, democratic, laissez-faire, visionary, and servant leadership.

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses? ›

What employers are looking for:
Analytical skillsHard skills (defined by the job description)
Communication skillsSoft skills (such as public speaking)
Leadership skills
Ability to work in a team

How do you handle stress and pressure? ›

Taking steps to manage stress
  1. Track your stressors. Keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them. ...
  2. Develop healthy responses. ...
  3. Establish boundaries. ...
  4. Take time to recharge. ...
  5. Learn how to relax. ...
  6. Talk to your supervisor. ...
  7. Get some support.
Jul 1, 2014

Would you say you are a team player? ›

"I have served as both a team leader and a team contributor, so I'm extremely comfortable working in a team environment. Regardless of the role I'm put in, I utilize my reliability, communication skills, positive attitude and outgoing personality so that I can become a key contributor."

What is a classroom management tool? ›

A common classroom management tool is a system or technique that rely on correcting student behavior. While this may seem obvious, there is another paradigm through which to view successful classroom management that is much more effective with the students we have in our classrooms today.

What is the golden rule of good classroom management? ›

Building relationships with students begins first and foremost with the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This means to treat students respectfully, ask politely, and correct kindly.

What is the 10 10 rule in classroom management? ›

The Ten-Ten Rule requires all students to be in class the first 10 minutes of every class and the concluding 10 minutes of class (barring medical emergency). This ensures the safety and security of the campus as well as promotes maximum use of instructional time for students.

What makes a good classroom? ›

Comfort is key. Sufficient space and good lighting (preferably natural light are non-negotiable. Dark, cramped classrooms fail to facilitate learning. Beyond this, good classrooms have clear acoustics, high air quality and a balanced temperature.

What is positive classroom management strategies? ›

Eye contact is a simple, positive way to maintain control over a classroom, according to the National Education Association. When teaching, teachers should stand so they can see all of the class. This allows them to quickly assess situations and then move closer to problems, stopping them before they start.

How can I control my classroom without yelling? ›

10 Ways to Get Your Students' Attention Without Yelling
  1. Set and Maintain High Expectations. ...
  2. Establish Regular Routines. ...
  3. Get Quieter, Not Louder. ...
  4. Reset Technique. ...
  5. Install a Wireless Doorbell. ...
  6. Use Call and Response or Clap Back Technique. ...
  7. Use Classroom Lights. ...
  8. Stand in the Middle of the Room.

How do you punish a child for bad behavior at school? ›

In most cases, teachers have discipline strategies in place for dealing with misbehavior. Discipline at school usually involves having a child lose recess for the day, doing an extra assignment or classroom chore, or staying after school for detention.

How would you describe classroom management style? ›

There are four styles of classroom management: authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and indulgent. They range from the teacher having very strong control and less student involvement to the teacher having less control and more student involvement.

What is your best classroom management style? ›

The authoritative approach is the best form of classroom management style because it is the one most closely associated with appropriate student behaviors.

What is classroom management short answer? ›

Classroom management refers to the wide variety of skills and techniques that teachers use to keep students organized, orderly, focused, attentive, on task, and academically productive during a class.

How would you describe classroom management in this class? ›

Classroom management encompasses a variety of skills and techniques that teachers can use to create a high-performing learning environment. At its core, it aims to ensure classes run smoothly, disruptive behaviour from students is kept to a minimum, and teaching materials and activities promote learning.

Which is one characteristic of an effective classroom management? ›

Students need to understand what is expected of them not only as it pertains to behavior, but also in terms of academics. Teachers in effective classrooms communicate with students about what they should be learning and track progress often. Make assessment a norm in your classroom and use it to inform your teaching.

What things do teachers need to consider in managing the class? ›

These five crucial tips can help you organize and manage your classroom more efficiently and effectively.
  • Establish clear expectations.
  • Create an organized place to learn.
  • Plan each lesson with your students in mind.
  • Find opportunities to advance and improve your practice.
  • Communicate clearly and regularly.

What are the big 5 in classroom management? ›

The “Big Five” strategies — rules, routines, praise, misbehavior, and engagement — are the ones with the strongest research support and should be the first steps to managing a classroom that teacher candidates learn.

What is a good example of classroom management? ›

Set guidelines and stick to them

For example, if a teacher has a “show up for class late, and you'll receive a tardy” rule, a teacher will want to ensure students have enough time to get from their last class to the next class in a timely manner.

What is the most important classroom management? ›

The most important component of classroom management is relationships. The relationships with my students start at the door when I shake the their hand and greet them with a smile (regardless of what misbehaviors might have happened the day before).

What is classroom management in one word? ›

Classroom management can be defined as the actions teachers take to establish and sustain an environment that fosters students' academic achievement as well as their social, emotional, and moral growth.

How do you control a rowdy class? ›

  1. Explain Your Plan and Establish Consequences. ...
  2. Grab their Attention from the Start of Class. ...
  3. Use Clapping and Echo Games to Get Their Attention. ...
  4. Stop and Listen. ...
  5. Take Off Quietly with Themes. ...
  6. Choose a Secret Behavior Representative. ...
  7. Praise Students Silently. ...
  8. Develop Empathy in Disruptive Students.
Jun 19, 2020

How do you handle disruptive behavior in the classroom? ›

What to do
  1. Be steady, consistent and firm.
  2. Acknowledge the feelings of the individual.
  3. Remember that disruptive behavior is often caused by stress or frustration.
  4. Address the disruption individually, directly and immediately.
  5. Be specific about the behavior that is disruptive and set limits.

How can I improve my classroom management skills? ›

How to Improve Your Classroom Management: A Beginner's Guide
  1. Get to Know Your Students. Strong personal relationships with your students will form the backbone of a well-run classroom. ...
  2. Prepare Lessons in Advance. ...
  3. Make Learning Hands-On. ...
  4. Use Praise as a Reward. ...
  5. Minimize Reprimanding. ...
  6. Follow the Lead.


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